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Why Flanders’ cleantech scene is flourishing [study]

Cleantech is one of the most thriving sectors in Flanders. This has been confirmed by the recently released 2020 Cleantech Report. Currently, the region is home to over 1,000 cleantech players, which together employ more than 25,000 people and generate EUR 4 billion in profit. What’s more, around 15 new cleantech specialists start up in Flanders every year.  

Cycling through the Trees' in Bosland, Limburg (Flanders)

Published by sector federation Cleantech Flanders, the 2020 Cleantech report was presented at the first-ever Clean Vision Summit in Mechelen, Flanders. It provides a complete overview of Flanders’ cleantech ecosystem, its impact and opportunities.  

Cleantech accelerator

Since the 1970s, Flanders has increasingly focused on cleantech. New sustainable materials and technologies are rapidly being embraced in the region, while innovative solutions have accelerated this process even further. As a result, Flanders has established itself as a growth accelerator for clean technologies. “Every year, 85 cleantech patents are published in Flanders, covering virtually all cleantech domains,” the 2020 Cleantech Report highlights. “The region’s dedicated research institutes – such as VITO – and major commercial players continue to be the main drivers of these activities.”  

Centers of expertise

Even more, the report indicates that Flanders’ cleantech activities are located mainly around the region’s larger cities, close to the educational institutions and universities that facilitate the expansion of the cleantech field. The main centers of expertise are situated around Ghent, Leuven and Antwerp.  

Innovative applications in a range of domains

Finally, the 2020 Cleantech Report zooms in on which sectors and domains are the main focal points of Flanders’ cleantech scene: “Companies that focus on renewable energy and energy efficiency remain strong players. However, growth in the circular economy – including waste management and recycling – has been particularly striking in recent years. 

“Continuous innovation as well as the application of novel technologies – such as artificial intelligence, machine learning, sensors, lightweight materials, 3D printing, blockchain, big data, drones and more – will give an additional boost to ‘traditional’ cleantech domains in the coming years,” the report concludes. “This will also accelerate implementation to solve real-life challenges.”  

More info

Cleantech Flanders
Reported by
Website Cleantech Flanders
28 May 2020

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